Congregation at Dr. Benjamin Hooks' church remember their pastor

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Members of the congregation of Greater Middle Baptist Church, where Dr. Benjamin Hooks was pastor for more than 50 years, remembered their lost leader Thursday.

For 52 years, Dr. Hooks preached the gospel at Greater Middle Baptist Church.  Hooks retired as head pastor in December of 2008 but continued to deliver sermons as pastor emeritus.

Rather than cancel the weekly adult Bible study Thursday night, Associate Minister John Brown III said his members would carry on.

"We're coping," Brown said, "as he has often taught that this day is coming."

Members reflected on the passing of their former pastor.

"He really had us spoiled and we loved him," one member said.  "We loved him."

"He would share ... history with you," another member said, "and I think all of us learned so much from him."

Just as Hooks left a deep footprint in the struggle for equality, he left an indelible spiritual mark on his church congregation.  Parishioners intend to pass that on to future generations.

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